Consumer confidence steady

Headline consumer confidence remained practically unchanged at 114.0 last weekend. This is 35.4 per cent higher than confidence in the same weekend a year ago (18 to 19 April, 2020).

The details were mixed. ‘Current financial conditions’ softened 3.4 per cent, while ‘future financial conditions’ fell 1.6 per cent. In contrast, ‘current economic conditions’ gained 2.0 per cent and ‘future economic conditions’ rose 1.2 per cent.

‘Time to buy a major household item’ improved 1.4 per cent. ‘Weekly inflation expectations’ fell 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 per cent, but the four-week moving average remained steady at 3.8 per cent.

“The strong labour market report released last week, with a drop of unemployment rate to 5.6 per cent and underemployment below 8 per cent, didn’t provide the boost to sentiment we might have expected,” ANZ Head of Australian Economics, David Plank said.

“Confidence did, however, remain above its long-run average, and perhaps the good news on employment offset any fallout from the vaccine disappointment.”

“The opening of the trans-Tasman travel bubble this week has also most likely helped maintain a positive sentiment.”

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